Would you do it all over again?

By James Durand

A few weeks ago I was listening to a radio show and the topic was nagging injuries from years of sports.

They weren’t talking about major catastrophic injuries, but all the small sprains, breaks, and tweaks that are unavoidable after years of participating in sports, especially contact, or extreme sports.

And even if you never played a contact sport, the injuries caused by repetitiveness and over use are inevitable.

The panel of hosts were all ex-athletes anywhere from their late 30’s to their early 50’s, and the big question was, “If you knew in your youth, how much pain you would be in each day due to your participation in (name your sport here), would you have quit to save your body?”

It got me thinking. I now have aching shoulders from volleyball, a clicking and sore jaw, bad ankles, and thumbs that don’t flex properly, all from lacrosse, and the list from mountain biking is too long to include here. If I had seen the future and how many nagging injuries I would have to deal with, would I have stopped competing, or even participating in the sports I love back in my youth?

Since my early 30’s I have had to stretch each morning just so I could get out of bed in less than 10 minutes. Without some serious yoga on a regular basis, standing up straight didn’t happen until lunch time, throwing a ball would put me in a sling, and if I happened to step on some uneven ground, I most likely had a week or two on crutches. Plus just a lot of aches and pains.

So, as I look back over the years I wonder now if I should have quit way back in my 20’s to save my body for later in life. Less pain, easier to sleep, more comfort in my “old age.”

Well, it’s been 20 years of pain now, and I haven’t persuaded myself to quit yet. Maybe I’ll think about it for another decade or two while I ride some awesome trails, hit some mountain bike parks, and improve my jumping skills. I’ll start thinking about the pain when I’m old, you know, in my 80’s.

I’m James Durand and I’m Goin’ Ridin’…

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